Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/29 - U.S. State Debt Tops $4T, China's Industrial Profits Slide, Food Prices High And Volatile

Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 6:28 AM

Economy

U.S. states' debt tops $4 trillion-report

America's 50 state governments owe $4.19
trillion, including outstanding bonds, unfunded pension
commitments and budget gaps, according to a new report.

At $617.6 billion, California had by far the biggest total
debt, more than twice the total of No. 2, New York, with $300.1
billion owed, according to State Budget Solutions, a research
and non-partisan advocacy group.

U.S. Farm Income Seen Rising as Drought Spurs Higher Prices

Pressured by the prospect of higher prices, corn futures surged 58 percent since mid-June before today, soybeans were up 31 percent and wheat 41 percent. The drought may push food inflation as high as 4 percent in 2012, the USDA said last week. The department has declared natural disasters in more than 1,800 counties in 35 states, more than half of the country’s total, mostly because of the dry, hot weather.

Catalonia heightens Spanish debt fears

Catalonia will request an emergency €5bn credit line from Spain’s central government as the region struggles to refinance its debts,..........

The request came as private deposits at Spanish banks dropped at the quickest pace since the launch of the euro and data confirmed the Spanish economy shrank for the third consecutive quarter between April and June.

Spanish recession darkens as country mulls bailout, Catalonia seeks cash

Gross domestic product fell by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter of the year, according to final figures that confirmed a preliminary reading. But on an annual basis it dropped by 1.3 per cent, worse than initial estimates of 1.0 per cent.

Spain’s economy fell back into recession in the last quarter of 2011, when output fell 0.5 per cent, and government estimates show GDP will probably fall this year and next.
The data came a day after Spain said its economy performed worse than expected in both of the last two years.

UN food chief warns high and volatile prices here to stay

Food prices will remain elevated and will be highly volatile in the next 10 years,” Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) chief Jose Graziano da Silva said in an interview with the French daily Le Monde.
“To ensure food security and face up to higher prices, each country should ensure they have stocks to cover their needs for between a week and a month,” he added.

US ethanol output to drop 10 pct as price rises

Ethanol output will fall to 12.4 billion gallons next year compared to 13.8 billion gallons this year, according to the forecast. Exports would drop to 505 million gallons from nearly 1.1 billion gallons this year.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell joined governors of seven other states -- Texas, Georgia, New Mexico, Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware -- in asking the Environmental Protection Agency for relief from the so-called ethanol mandate. They say the Renewable Fuels Standard is disrupting livestock production and causing severe economic harm.

Food basket prices jumped 9% in 2 years, report says (Canada)

They tallied the prices on the 67 items that Health Canada says make up what it calls a National Nutritious Food Basket.
Jean-Claude Basque, the group’s provincial co-ordinator, says the basket prices ranged from $257 at one store to $288 at another.
They released their findings Monday.

Liberians Urged to Grow Own Food - As Food Prices Continues to Rise Till 2015

The Minister of Commerce and Industry has asked Liberians to grow their own food and be able to eat what they produce in the wake of the World Bank's forecast of global price increase of food stuff.

Unilever to treat Europe like Asia as 'poverty returns'

The Dutch consumer goods giant, responsible for brands such as Persil and Flora, revealed it believes "poverty is returning to Europe", as Greece and Spain suffer deepening recession and unemployment.

To reflect shoppers’ reduced budgets, the company will sell its products in smaller, cheaper packages, reports The Daily Telegraph. The practice is already used by Unilever in developing nations in Africa and Asia: in Indonesia the company sells individual packs of shampoo for two to three cents.

Brazil set to cut interest rate to record low 7.5%: analysts

The rate-cutting policy, which began exactly a year ago, aims to stimulate the economy at a time when it is suffering from China's economic slowdown and the dragging U.S. recovery.

China’s industrial profits slide

Profits at China’s industrial companies tumbled in July for a fourth straight month, a sign of enduring economic weakness that adds to pressure on Beijing to drive a sluggish recovery.

Total industrial profits declined 5.4 percent compared with a year earlier, accelerating from June’s 1.3 percent fall, government data showed Monday. That might hurt investment, a key part of Beijing’s recovery plan for China’s deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis.

Portugal hopes for leeway on budget from bailout team

Inspectors kicked off a review of Portugal's bailout on Tuesday, facing rising expectations they will grant the country some relief on tough fiscal goals it looks set to miss despite sticking rigidly to a tough austerity program.

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3 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4060
saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4060
Student-Loan Debt Rises to $914 Billion in Latest Quarter

Student-Loan Debt Rises to $914 Billion in Latest Quarter

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
U.S. is in far more trouble than Europe

At a European conference on the sovereign-debt crises that I ­attended this week, my overwhelming conclusion, after listening to many experts, is that the U.S. is in far more trouble than Europe.

This was brought home by calculations presented by Larry Kotlikoff of Boston University at a lecture held at the International Institute of Public Finance, the biggest gathering of public-finance experts in the world. Greece may be bankrupt, but the U.S. looks like a giant Ponzi scheme.

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/08/21/u-s-worse-than-europe/

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